Best Travel Apps 2022
App, App & Away!
Best Travel Apps 2015
Get travel and tech savvy with these must-have travel apps.
There’s an app for almost anything these days. Taking a holiday? There’s an app for that. Want to speak Swahili when you get there? No sweat. Whether you’re scooting around the corner or trekking around the planet, when it comes to streamlining the travel experience it can feel like there’s a million apps for everything. Don’t drown in a sea of travel apps; that’s probably the only thing there isn’t an app for yet. Designed to detangle the best from the rest, here are some of 2015’s Best Travel Apps that you really should know before you go.
PLAN. BOOK. ORGANISE. TRAVEL. SLEEP. DOCUMENT.
From planning trips and converting currency, to tapping into local cultures, talking in foreign languages and finding the perfect place to put your feet up, there’s an app to help you every step of the way. Look over the list and give them a go. They’re guaranteed to make your smartphone smarter and your travels easier.
Fly By The Seat Of Your Smartphone
Trendy San Francisco-based start-up, HotelTonight, is the mobile hotel booking app last-minute travellers can’t live without. If you don’t have a problem winging it when it comes to putting a roof over your head, well, you probably already have HotelTonight on your smartphone.
Separating it from its competition? The brilliant brainwave to dish out huge, very last-minute discounts on the unreserved rooms of top hotels. The catch? You have to wait until 9am the morning of your arrival for the discounted rates to be released. Still, why pay more than you need to for a crappy last-minute hotel when you can fly by the seat of your pants straight into some seriously hot hotels for rates guaranteed to be the very best.
Never Squeeze Into a Bad Seat Again
News flash: you don’t have to pay for a costly upgrade to get extra legroom on your next flight. Armed with this app and it’s comprehensive plane charts, you’ll have access to a snapshot of every seat’s comfort factor before you book. Result? You’ll never get stuck in the middle seat of a plane again.
SeatGuru is the free search tool that lets you look at the location and amenity of any seat, on virtually any aircraft. Just enter your flight number and consult one of SeatGuru’s nearly 800 cabin layout charts. Each chart offers accurate details on legroom, seat-back amenities, recline ability, power outlets, in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity and proximity to bathrooms. Before booking your ticket, make sure you’re not sacrificing precious inches for a slightly lower fare with SeatGuru.
3. Wi-Fi Finder
Dodge Data Roaming Charges
Forget flailing around town wasting precious travel time waving your phone around like a fly-swatter; to dodge a massive data roaming charge, simply fire up this handy app and get directions to your nearest source of wireless internet. Too easy. After all, with data roaming charges laughably high, finding a decent wi-fi hotspot is essential if you’re to keep the twitterati up to date with all the swoon worthy details of your latest adventure.
4. Google Translate
Understand the Locals
Not sure how to ask for the toilet in hebrew? Maybe you’re lost in the Amazon and tongue tied trying to speak Brazilian Portuguese? Google is here to save the day, again. Compatible with a whopping 81 languages from Afrikaans to Yiddish (including those that are character-based) all you need to do is think it, type it and then leave it to this handy app to translate it. You’ll see the translation and hear the phrase in the desired language. Problem solved. Better yet, see a sign you need translated? Take a picture and Google Translate will easily solve the problem for you. Lifesaver.
See What Travellers Are Saying
Nothing beats on-the-ground insider info from fellow travellers when it comes to booking the best and avoiding the rest. Even if the user-base is notoriously hard to please, the 150 million-plus reviews on TripAdvisor are bound to come in handy; they offer up opinions, good, bad and ugly, on over 4 million hotels, attractions, flights, restaurants and more, from destinations all over the globe. Collectively, the millions of travellers who take time to rank and review their travels enable TripAdvisor to create a handy, crowdsourced list of the best of everything in almost every destination you could find an intrepid traveller.
Think of the TripAdvisor app as a Cliffs Notes version of a travel guide, perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the time or patience to plod through 300 pages and an invaluable resource for all the stuff that makes your trip simply unforgettable.
Text Your Friends for Free
WhatsApp is the free cross-platform messaging system that’s slowly but surely rendering the text message obsolete. Use your Wi-Fi connection (rather than data roaming) to send unlimited texts, images, audio messages, and videos to WhatsApp users worldwide; so even if you’re sending a message to someone on the other side of the globe, there’s nothing to pay. Absolutely essential for keeping in touch with overseas chums.
7. XE Currency
Convert Every World Currency On-The-Go
Featured by the BBC, the LA Times, CNN, and almost every other authority on what’s hot and what’s not, this free and simple currency calculator is as good as it gets if you need to convert cash on-the-go. With five million downloads under its belt, the XE Currency app features live rates and charts that give your smartphone the answers to all your currency queries. The slick interface evem stores the last update so you’ve got exchange rates on tap even when your Wi-Fi won’t play ball.
Rent a Pied-à-terre—or an Island
No hotel booking site can match the sheer diversity of Airbnb‘s one millions plus listings, and counting. What started as a glorified couch-surfing tool has evolved into a game-changing network of rental options that range from swanky apartments in New York to ski chalets in the Swiss Alps. Whether you’re after a castle, a yurt, a converted aeroplane or a watchtower, on Airbnb you’ll find an ever-growing supply of apartments, rooms and sofas to accommodate just about any budget, with many now available for instant booking. After you authenticate your identity and work out the logistics of the key hand-off with the host, you’ll be having yourself a merry little holiday you’ll remember forever.
Get a Ride Anywhere
Available in more than 40 countries, in cities large and small, Uber is the pioneering e-hail car service that’s shaking up the way people find a ride. Instantly order a taxi, black car, or SUV, and pay with a credit card online, then watch your driver’s GPS position in real time while you wait.
Ignore the naysayers, Uber is the cheap and easy way to book a private car.
Find an Airport Oasis
If you need a shower, some shut-eye, unlimited Wi-Fi, or a work space during your layover, LoungeBuddy is the app to look to. This free app lets you know what free and pay-as-you-go lounges are available in more than 500 airports worldwide. Users can sort results by access credentials, price, and specific amenities, even accessing information on hours, photos and ratings from fellow fliers. To get started, enter some basic information about your trip and let the app find the nearest lounge.
Become a Global Swearing Master
In at lucky number 11 is an app every traveller’s inner child has dreamed about at one point or another and while it’s not the most cultivated app on this list, it is certainly one of the most fun. Tell a Belgian local where he can put his waffles with this neatly indexed catalog of international expletives. Swearport brings your swear game to the next level by giving you access to over a thousand expletives in 45 languages. Simply click on the language, select the word and listen for a native speaker to announce the requested blooper. More then that, you get detailed information on how to say it, when and where to use it, its meaning, and an intensity rating out of 5.